About the Arts Toolkit
The Arts Toolkit combines multimedia resources designed to provide teachers with high-quality teaching resources that align to academic standards while bringing the excitement of dance, drama, music, and the visual arts into the classroom.
The Arts Toolkit has been designed:
- for the arts classroom as well as for integration into other subject areas. Lesson plans and idea cards are adaptable for both and provide everything from helpful background for teachers who are looking to increase their knowledge and expertise in the arts to new ideas and resources for the experienced arts professional.
- to be easily accessible and user-friendly. In a sense, it is an example of “one-stop shopping,” providing teachers who are strapped for time but looking for good ideas with easy access to a wide variety of resources. Teachers have been involved in all aspects of the project, from the initial prototype testing to providing lesson plans and idea cards.
- to be standards-based. All resources have been selected and developed with Kentucky’s arts and humanities requirements in mind. Lesson plans include information about Kentucky’s academic standards. Since Kentucky’s standards are similar to national arts standards, teachers across the country can adapt these lessons to their state’s standards.
- to instruct and inspire students. No matter where students live, they can meet artists, tour arts facilities–from performing arts centers to museums, artists’ studios to theaters–and enjoy activities and performances in Dance, Drama, Music, and Visual Arts.
How and Why It Was Developed
In response to requests from Kentucky teachers for arts and humanities resources, Kentucky Commissioner of Education Gene Wilhoit challenged KET and other Kentucky arts organizations to “develop a dynamic and powerful arts and humanities toolkit that would be built from the Kentucky Core Content, Program of Studies, and Academic Expectations.”
Wilhoit’s challenge was offered in late fall 2000; by summer 2001 the first of two prototype toolkits–in Visual Arts and Drama–was produced under the leadership of KET and the Kentucky Department of Education. That prototype and the second prototype–in Music and Dance–were distributed to teachers attending the summer Arts Academies, weeklong regional professional development sessions sponsored by the Kentucky Center and the KDE.
Based on feedback from teachers who tested the prototypes, KET, the Department of Education, and other partners began developing the toolkits for statewide distribution in Drama, Dance, Visual Arts and Music.
The Arts Toolkits have received glowing reviews from teacher-users across the state as well as national recognition. In February 2005 the first edition of the Drama Arts Toolkit was named Best Instructional Resource and Best of the Best by the National Educational Telecommunications Association, an association of public television stations across the United States. The Arts Toolkit project also was named a Top 50 Program in Harvard University’s Art Institute Innovations in Government Awards programs.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to ask a question, share how you have used toolkit materials, suggest a needed resource, or submit a lesson plan or idea card for the Arts Toolkit web site.